By Obinna Unaeze
The Niger chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has lauded the state government’s order suspending Sunday service as part of efforts to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
Rev. Mathias Echioda, the state CAN chairman made this known on Saturday during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
Echioda said that there was nothing wrong in the state government suspending congregational Sunday service to save lives in the state and the country.
“There is nothing illegal in not holding congregational Sunday service for now.
“You and I know that Christianity is first your personal relationship with God in terms of service before a communal worship.
“Therefore we appreciate the responsible moves by the Niger state government to be proactive to save lives,” he said.
He appealed to Christians in the state to respect the restriction of movement order by government as it was meant to stop the spread of the pandemic.
The CAN Chairman reminded Christians in the state that the global pandemic was real, “let nobody doubt it as world leaders are making efforts to get a vaccine and cure for it,” he said.
“I am using this opportunity to let all Christians in Niger state to know that the COVID-19 is real.
“You must protect your life, members of the Church, community, state, nation and the world.
“I therefore appeal on behalf of the CAN leadership in Niger state to all Christians and everybody to comply with the government order for us to stay indoors from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until further notice,” he said.
He urged the Christians to observe the social distancing of one metre (3 feet) in order to curtail the spread of the pandemic.
Echioda also advised Christians to take precautionary measures of personal hygiene such as using hand sanitisers, regular washing of hands with soap, wearing face mask and attending to issues with caution.
“Try as much as you can not to mingle with many people,” he said.
The CAN Chairman enjoined Christians to pray with their families at home and read the Bible on Sundays and other days.
“After fellowship at home with your family, you can communicate with other Christians who will benefit from it.
“As iron sharpens iron faith will sharpen one another”, he said.
He urged Christians to continue to pray to God to destroy the COVID-19 in Nigeria and the world.
NAN recalls that the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello had on March 23 imposed a daily curfew as part of measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19.
NAN reports that the time of the curfew was changed to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily against the former order of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow members of the public meet their daily needs without clustering together.
The government said that the restriction order would continue until further notice.
Alhaji Mohammed Sidi, the state commissioner for Health said on Tuesday that the state government has earmarked N100 million to stop the COVID-19 from spreading to the state.
Sidi who said that there was no case of the pandemic in the state, added that seven suspected cases have been quarantined.